Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch isn’t about to admit he’s wrong to be skeptical about September’s unemployment numbers. But he will confess his punctuation needs work.
Last week, Welch wrote a tweet so controversial that it overshadowed all the U.S. jobs created in an entire month. The tweet, which implied the Labor Department's September jobs report had been manipulated to reflect a lower unemployment rate, read:
Now, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, entitled "Jack Welch: I Was Right About That Strange Jobs Report," Welch doubles down on his skepticism, calling the recent unemployment rate dropoff “implausible." What he will admit, however, is that the exact wording could have been clearer.
“If I could write that tweet again, I would have added a few question marks at the end,” Welch writes, so as to “make it clear I was raising a question.”
Punctuation or not, Welch has mostly stuck by his theory despite widespread criticism -- the numbers “don’t smell right,” he told Fox News on Tuesday. Where he has backtracked is on his criticism of the Obama administration. Now, he claims, he "never commented on the White House in any tweets I can recall.”
While many economists -- Paul Krugman, for example -- have criticized Welch, the former GE chief does have some believers, including notables like Newt Gingrich and Washington Examiner writer Conn Correll. So there's that.
GE's labor force fell by around 100,000 with Welsh at the helm, according to Fortune.